There are a few insidious roadblocks that can stifle a person's progression and stunt their growth as an improvisor. We are warned about them early on - level one perhaps. But at that time we are too green to really grasp the magnitude of the threat. One roadblock is exceptionally unforgiving and I find that in level five (and in those first few troupes) the beast really shows its nature. That beast is judgment.
Judgment is a cancer that WILL slow you down. And it affects everyone. Those of us who sheepishly wander on stage questioning our every move. Those of us who only go on stage with certain people. Those of us who share judgmental glances on the sides during scenes. Those of us that forget this is an art.
Understand that EVERYONE including yourself has something to offer. And every offer is a gift. We teach you the skills to succeed in any scene with any person. Every offering is a gift and we treat every gift, every scene partner, EVERY MEMBER OF THE ENSEMBLE (EVEN YOURSELF) like a genius, like a king. Learning to listen joyfully to every move ever made and learning to be thankful for your scene partners WILL make you a better improvisor.
When Dave Pasquesi (TJ & Dave) won improvisor of the year, his statement was "My job is to make others look good. If I'm improvisor of the year, it means I didn't do my job. I will do better next year." Seriously, removing judgment from your improv mind will boost you to the next level. You grow and get better when you play like a child. A child does not judge. When learning to walk, a child falls countless times, but it picks himself up and gets better. Not once does he take a break to judge itself.
The Trailer for "Trust Us, This is All Made Up"
LOVE PLAYING ALWAYS
Tommy Lee Brown is a graduate of the DCH training program and now and instructor for Levels 4 and 5. He performs with f.a.c.e, Cupcake, and Franzia.